Running By Faith

December 3, 2023

By Nicole

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This week has been chock-full of encouragements, and I want to document them so I don’t forget. Or, at the very least, one of you guys can remind me when I do, LOL. 

I have a habit of forgetting the milestones passed on my way to the finish line. 

Am I the only one? 

My drive can sweep me up, my gaze steadfast, my shoulders squared, my eye on the prize. But then, after a while, I get weary. I am wiped out from the seemingly never-ending path to goal-achieving. I have felt this way both on the road of entrepreneurship and in my personal life. 

Am I alone?

Only a few months ago, I was in that space. In between writing projects, I found myself at a standstill. I knew Holy Spirit was telling me to rest, but without a project or a goal, rest can lead to discouragement. 

I looked around and wondered, “What am I doing with my life?”

I forced myself to attend a networking event. As much as people think I am super social, trust me, I have come a long way. These 2+ years, I’ve forced myself to be “out there” because I knew that was my way of contributing to what God was doing. He was crafting space for me to be a best-selling writer. The least I could do was write and show up. 

The least I could do was build my brand.

It was at that particular networking event I realized, though I walked in insecure and feeling like a failure, I had been used at that event to assist others with resources and guidance in their calling into the creative realm.

Sometimes, we can miss the achievement of running a certain distance because we’re so focused on the finish line. But there are always others coming behind us. 

Even at mile two, there’s still someone struggling at mile one.

Who is behind you in your race to purpose? Who are you called to assist, affirm, and prepare to help them reach their next mile-marker?

About a month after that networking event, another encouraging day came. I was at a different event in support of a well-known artist. I revere him as an elder, and he’s accomplished a lot in his career. In our conversation following his event, he gave me a word, saying I was doing “it.” I knew this was significant. He had interviewed and rubbed elbows with many well-known folks. If he was saying it, surely it must be true. I needed that word. 

The wait was weighing me down.

When you’re called to endurance, that’s what can happen. You can start off high and zealous and bursting with hope. But then the “no’s” or the closed doors stack up, and you start donning a cloak of rejection, internalizing each one.

Years ago, I was watching a TV sermon where the minister said, “You’ve been told ‘No’ so many times you feel like your name is ‘No.’” I knew that word was for me. I was encouraged the Father was validating how I felt. He was showing me it was okay to feel how I felt. I had good reason to feel how I felt. But, He did not want me to stay there. In that message, the minister shared that God was moving, and it proved to be true in my life. Shortly thereafter, a significant door opened in my career.

Are you feeling discouraged at the standstill? The “no’s”? The rejections? Here is your word today:

You are doing it. 

Look back and see how far you’ve come.

This week, I met with a woman I hold in high regard. When we met, I wasn’t necessarily in a “down and out place,” just in a, “Lord, get me to the end of the year” place.

As the year is finalizing, it is clear time is dwindling. If what we are waiting for, hoping for, dreaming about, is in need of manifestation in 2023, well, then, it needs to manifest SOON.

So, my prayer has been, “God, get me and my friends to the end of the year.”

In my conversation with this woman I esteem, the words fell out of her mouth that I want to remember always. She said, “Nicole, you will be a best-seller.”

Wow. This well-accomplished, worldly, educated, serial entrepreneur, guru, and author said those words. About me.

And then, the following days were filled with others affirming the work I’ve been doing. I knew it was to keep me motivated. Without encouragement, without seeing the end result, we can become unmotivated. We can succumb to disbelief. To self-doubt.

Can I tell you a secret? My friends and I made vision boards. I haven’t made one in at least a decade. I even went to a friend’s house a few years ago, where they had a vision board party. I simply went for the fellowship and snacks. I left; no vision board created.

But this time, when I was asked if I wanted to partake, I figured, why not? 

If this stuff doesn’t happen, I can just throw it away.

I think that’s what happens at 40. You’ve lived enough life to know some stuff just isn’t going to happen. Or, if it does, it can take a long time. Or, look totally different than how you thought. And in some ways, that’s quite alright.

I used to hold so tightly to my dreams. My plans. I thought I knew exactly the outcome of so much of my journey based on my prophetic insight. But I had to learn that even if I was right in some cases and did know the outcome, I still had no clue about the journey.

Similarly, we know we are called to the finish line. We just have no clue as to the twists, turns, hills, and valleys between our start and finish. 

In that sense, we are truly running by faith.

In other news…Did you know that I just dropped my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!

Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.

And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).

As always, thank you for your support!

 

 

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